general 18 September 2018

Planning is the key to succeeding in your mortgage application as a couple. If you can work together on saving for a deposit and getting through the application process, you have the potential to get the best deal on your loan and hopefully the home of your dreams. We’ve compiled three key areas that you need to master in order to give yourself the best possible chance with your joint application.

Do your research
Your first port of call is working out how much you can borrow. Use an online mortgage calculator with you and your partner’s details to find out how much you can potentially borrow. You can then start looking at what you can potentially afford on the property market. Remember that you need to save a deposit too; Central Bank rules now require first-time buyers to have a deposit of at least 10% of the property purchase price.

In addition, a number of changes regarding mortgages for first-time buyers have come in over the last few years, so it’s essential that you keep up to date with those and any other changes. One of these is the Help to Buy Scheme, applicable on new builds, which can give first-time buyers a 5% tax rebate, up to €20,000. For more on this scheme, see www.revenue.ie

Begin saving together
One of the biggest hurdles when buying a house is saving the deposit, which for first-time buyers has to be at least 10% of the property purchase price. Begin by sitting down together and working out a budget that suits you both. Include everything in this list, including all bills, food and discretionary spending. If you don’t know where your money is going, track everything you buy over a month – you will be able to see exactly how much you are spending on things like lunches out, coffee, social life etc. Go through this together and highlight where you can save money. Then work together on making changes that positively impact your budget – eg make your work lunches together or take it in turns to prepare a special dinner as a cost-effective “date” night. Once you know where your money is going and have a budget that suits you both, work out how much you can save. Then open a joint savings account and set up standing orders for a regular amount to go into this account after each of your pay days.  

Get expert advice
It’s a very good idea to get some advice from a qualified mortgage advisor as soon as you start seriously looking at a mortgage application. They look at joint mortgage applications on a daily basis and know exactly what you’ll need to do. The appointment will cover such important information as what documents you need to make an application and what sort of savings pattern you’ll need to have in order to have a successful application. You’ll leave with a clear idea of what you need to do and where you need to get to before you submit your final application. The appointment should also boost your confidence and motivation to work together to succeed!